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Special session called to tackle Calif.'s deficit

November 12, 2010 6:30:30 PM PST
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is calling a special legislative session after the latest budget forecast shows the deficit will balloon to $25 billion next year. But Democrats at the capitol do not seem inclined to re-do the budget with a lame-duck Republican governor.

While Schwarzenegger likes the green technology he is seeing at a car show, his next agenda is all about red; the red ink plaguing the state budget. He is calling lawmakers into special session next month to tackle the $6 billion deficit now, before it grows to $25 billion next year.

"I talked to Governor-elect Brown; he's all for it, he knows that the faster we make those decisions, the better it is and the less he has to deal with," Schwarzenegger said.

Schwarzenegger thinks there is only one way to solve that shortfall -- more spending cuts.

"Eventually, those legislators will find out that there will be on other choice but to make those cuts," Schwarzenegger said.

But with less than two months left in office, Democratic leaders are reluctant to act on a lame-duck governor's request. They would rather wait until Brown takes over in January to make major decisions.

"We're not going to do anything without consulting with, working directly with the Governor-elect Jerry Brown," State Senate President Darrell Steinberg said.

Waiting, though, will not make it any easier. No one is pretending there will not be more deep cuts.

"There's no doubt there are going to have to be cuts," Steinberg said.

Community college students have not heard anything about fee increases, but with more budget cuts looming, some are expecting the worst.

"If they do, I probably have to look for another two to three jobs to pay for that," community college student Diego Perez said.

Parents wonder what more cuts will mean to public schools.

The school San Jose parent Bobbi Hall sends her kids to is already begging families to help out.

"Yes, $350 per child, per year is what they're asking," Hall said. "They can't demand, but they're asking."


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